The Confidential

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Archive for the tag “Dave Doeren”

Wolfpack Football 2014 – Better Days

Well it’s almost time, so your Uncle Mikey is going to share with you his thoughts on the NC State Wolfpack’s chances for 2014.

First a look back.  Last year was not bad. It was horrible, devastating, a catastrophe, a waste, a pile of steaming filth of unknown substances. 3-9, including zero conference wins.  Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory vs UNC.  Loathsome quarterback play, little or no defense, and a bunch of players trying desperately to adapt to a new coach’s system with no success.

So, not much to look forward to, right?

Wrong!!! Click through and I’ll tell you why there are plenty of reasons for optimism in the upcoming season! Read more…

State of the Pack: QB Change Coming?

The David Glenn show reported this afternoon that Dave Doeren is optimistic that Brandon Mitchell will be ready for Saturday’s game with Syracuse.  If he does start, it would give the Pack a more mobile option to Pete Thomas who would likely fit State’s desired style of play.

Not that Thomas has played badly, but Wolfpack Nation will take any straw of hope we can grasp at this point.


Game is just starting, Thomas will start again.  So never mind.

State of the Pack: The season so far

Pack fans! It’s football season again!  Time to shake off the rust and run over the naysayers!!

But what are your impressions of this team so far?  Really hard to tell after only two games, so here are two viewpoints…

The Glass is Half Empty:

The team did win their opener vs Louisiana Tech 40-14 but in the process lost starting QB Brandon Mitchell to a foot injury which will keep him out 4-6 weeks.  They followed this up with a nail-biter vs Richmond of the FCS 23-21, scraping by on a field goal by Niklas Sade within the final minute after trailing by 11 points at the half.

In relief of Mitchell, Pete Thomas achieved a QB rating of 128.7 on zero TDs and two picks.  Against an FCS defense.  Woe is the Pack!!

The Glass is Half Full:

Hey, Louisiana Tech is not just any old team.  They posted a 9-3 record in the WAC last year and defeated both Illinois and Virginia in the process. Sure, the Richmond game was closer than expected, but they are probably looking ahead a little as they will begin conference play following a bye next week.  This will be a Thursday night game against a conference – make that a national – powerhouse.  More on that at the end of the post.

So What Should We Take Away?:

Let’s face it.  The Wolfpack isn’t set up for a BCS bowl run.  But a decent bowl invite should be in the cards.  That’s not bad for a first-year coach teaching a whole new system with recruits that aren’t, for the most part, his own.Dave Doeren NC State.jpeg

Next year, with Jacoby Brissett eligible to play QB and more of Dave Doeren’s guys coming in, should be even better.

But that brings us to the other point of view, the one I didn’t want to mention but can’t leave out…

Who Broke That Glass???:

Remember that marquee game?  The one on Thursday night, Sept. 19?

Run!!  Clemson is coming!!

Seriously, have you seen those guys?  As much as we would all like to think another Pack upset is brewing, there is very little chance the Pack will be Textile Bowl champs this season.

Why Debbie Yow was right

I know this is a controversial subject, at least among Wolfpack fans, but I believe that Debbie Yow was right to let Tom O’Brien go. To support my position, let’s take a look at O’Brien’s tenure at State:

2007 – After 3 straight 9-3 seasons and eight straight bowl apperances at Boston College, TOB announces that he will be taking his talents to South Beach…er, NC State.  Most State fans, including yours truly, are pretty ecstatic.  His reason for what most view as a lateral move is the fan support he saw when BC visited Raleigh; State seems to be to him as Notre Dame is to Lou Holtz, a destination rather than a stepping-stone (like the Pack was for the aforementioned Holtz).  But an instant miracle is not in the cards; State finishes 5-7 and does not go bowling.

2008 – Fair enough, Coach needs some time to recruit. The team starts slow but provides a feel-good ending with 4 straight wins including a thrashing of UNC that leaves them bowl-eligible. They lose to Rutgers in the bowl, but it’s a start.

2009 – This one qualifies as a lost season.  Only a season-ending win vs the Heels that knocks them out of bowl eligibility gives State fans anything to cheer about.  The low point for Coach had to be the 52-20 drubbing the Pack took at BC.  Let the grumbling begin…

2010 – The high point, the one O’Brien will point to when he tells the story of his time at State.  He calms his critics with an 8-4 mark followed by a rout of West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl, 23-7.  This is the TOBPack we dreamed of.

2011 – State falls back to 7-5.  There is good news, with a last-game rout of Maryland 56-41, a powerful defensive performance vs UNC 13-0, and a thrilling Belk Bowl win against Louisville 31-24.  But after the 2010 season this really felt like somewhat of a step back. And there would be more of the same in…

2012 – Really? 6-6? Had to beat BC in the final game to get to a bowl again?  Then they lost to Vandy, though that one was on Dana Bible as our Yow had already pulled the trigger and frankly, the team looked a bit lost in this one.

Now, does the body of work mandate a firing?  No.  Is Tom O’Brien a bad coach? No.  I wish him all sucess in his new post as Associate Head Coach at Virginia and feel that he will return to the HC ranks at some point if he so desires.

But here’s the point: O’Brien had taken State about as far as he was likely to.  Yes, we went bowling four times in his six seasons, but we were almost always just this side of mediocre.   Sometimes it is just time, and this was one of those cases.

Will Dave Doeren do better? I don’t have a crystal ball, but he did take a team from a non-BCS conference to the Orange Bowl, a place State has yet to go.  Admittedly this is a completely different challenge than facing the likes of Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech on a regular basis, not to mention the newcomers about to change the face of the ACC.  But I look forward to finding out.

As for Yow, I am still pretty psyched about that basketball coach she chose. So let’s give this thing a chance.

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